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History Makers Podcast: Episode Six - From Calculations to Cyber

Dr Lucy Rogers is joined by comedians Bec Hill and Harriet Braine for the History Makers podcast, exploring modern technology and the people throughout history who have made it all possible.

In episode six, the trio discusses whether the creation of cyber will be our ultimate salvation or damnation. Dr Lucy explains all about the birth of the first computer program, “robot” Harriet uses her databanks to bring Ada Lovelace to life and Bec tells us why we should have never have moved on from the abacus.

So set your ears to receive and your mind to blown for History Makers episode six!cyber_f874c214b1dd03856ae32a38232ce59e978a3633.jpg

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Missed our previous episodes? 

Where have you been? There are five other episodes for you to catch up on, which you can find below:

Episode 1 - Wireless Communications: “It’s addictive, dangerous and I don’t trust it”

Episode 2 - Artificial Intelligence: “What would Mary Shelley make of Westworld?”

Episode 3 - Computer Programming: "The first computer bug was a moth"

Episode 4 - Navigation: “GPS would make the Wizard of Oz boring"

Episode 5 - 3D Manufacturing: "How to get the toy out of a Kinder Surprise without opening the egg"

Meet The Maker

Ada Lovelace; the First Computer ProgrammerAda_Lovelace_6ca58f5fa386968fcb802371a2dc194acc69418d.jpg

Back in 1815 Lord Byron and his wife, Annabelle Milbanke had a child, not the son that Byron wanted so desperately, but a lovely little girl called Ada Lovelace. Byron quickly ditched his wife a month after Ada’s birth (sounds like a nice chap, not), over the following years Annabelle paid scant attention to her young daughter, apart from pushing her to study more and more maths!

As a young teen, and after recovering from a serious case of measles that left her unable to walk, Ada was the belle of the ball, making many an acquaintance with scientists of the day and being able to enthral them all with her clever wit and smart analytical mind. Ada met up with Charles Babbage (the father of the computer), who had invented a device called the Difference Engine and Ada spent as much time as she could exploring that fascinating device.adamachine1_c49ecd9a4e8f08d7b8511eddd8cbdcb6bef1a25c.jpg

When an Italian Inventor wrote an article on the latest Babbage device proposal the Analytical Engine, Ada set about translating it into English and it is here that she created an incredible set of notes. These complex notes explained that the device could go beyond the calculation of just mere numbers, but symbols as well, these symbols could represent letters or music for example.  These notes, as it turned out, are often considered to be the basis of the first computer program ever written, clever stuff indeed!

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Feel free to let us know what you thought of this episode in the comments below. 


Listener discretion is advised. The contents expressed in these Podcasts are the clever creation of the comedy teams involved, and although suitable for a wide range of audiences, please be aware of colourful language and the abuse of politicians. No robots (or humans) were harmed in the making of these podcasts.

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